Crowns Views

Toronto, ON., August 8, 2018 — As Canada approaches the legalization of recreational cannabis, the Crowns Retail Council is ready to serve cannabis companies who want to build legendary brand experiences. 

Led by Crowns Creative, the Crowns Retail Council is a one-stop shop for experts in every aspect of building a new cannabis retail experience: design, regulation, marketing, earned media, government relations, branding, and customer experience. From licensing through point-of-sale, the Council is ready to advise the future queens and kings of Canadian cannabis retail.

From regulatory compliance to total retail experience, the Crowns Retail Council offers a unique and highly skilled roster of retail experts and the specialized expertise of both Crowns Creative and Cannabis Compliance Inc. (CCI). In an era of transformational marketing and retail, the Council will help brands build authentic, memorable experiences that will become part of the lore of legalization.

“Crowns Retail Council will help cannabis companies seize this historic moment and create brands and retail experiences that will capture the Canadian consumer’s imagination from the moment they open their doors,” said Rebecca Brown, Founder and CEO of Crowns Creative. “Legalization across Canada is just 72 days away. Companies that want to build a retail empire before the end of the year are going to need the best, most targeted, and most responsive advice catered specifically to the cannabis industry.

“That’s what Crowns has always been about,” Brown continued. “And the Retail Council is yet another jewel in our crown.”

Reports that Ontario will soon join other provinces in allowing private retail options underscores the need for the Council’s suite of services.  

As Canada’s second-largest province, Ontario represents a market of more than 10 million adults 19 years and older. That massive market adds to the already significant private retail opportunities expected in Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and the territories of Nunavut and the Yukon. The Crowns Retail Council will help companies capitalize on one of the world’s largest, legal recreational cannabis markets after the end of prohibition in Canada on October 17.

“Our retail team at CCI looks forward to assisting retail applicants that wish to submit applications in Ontario and across Canada. We have had an extremely successful track record of approvals in other provinces that have allowed for applications to be submitted from private retail stores for the sale of non-medical cannabis,” said Deepak Anand, Vice-President of Business Development and Government Relations at Cannabis Compliance Inc.

Crowns Creative is a full-service marketing agency for the cannabis industry. Its core team offers specialized insight, and its expertise-based model offers clients modular dynamism to design solutions and build tailored creative teams that fit their unique needs. No two cannabis companies are the same, and Crowns Creative offers the dynamism each company in this fast-moving sector requires. The Council offers Crowns clients yet another knowledge base to tap into as they seek to dominate the cannabis industry.

Cannabis Compliance Inc. is Canada’s original cannabis consulting firm. It seeks to support the future leaders of the cannabis industry and offers advice on licensing, recruitment, auditing, financial planning, company build out, regulatory compliance and more. Its expert advice helps clients obtain Health Canada licenses, and it’s now turning that wealth of knowledge toward companies looking to navigate the muddy waters of cannabis retail regulation.

Members of the Crowns Retail Council include:

Jackie Charest - High-end retail expert

Jackie Charest is an established marketing executive, formerly the Vice-President of Marketing and Media Relations for the iconic Canadian retailer: Holt Renfrew. Throughout her time at the organization, she led marketing in a number of different cross-functional roles and excelled at launching and building brands, whether it was for Holts itself or the many brands it carries. Jackie has successfully spearheaded several unique partnerships, developed digital strategies and led successful 360 integrated brand campaigns.

Cova Software - Point-of-sale (POS) solution for cannabis companies

Cova is the leading POS solution for the cannabis industry and helps retailers simplify compliance, reduce operational cost, and increase revenue through inventory management, mobile reporting dashboards, and an easy-to-use tablet UI. Cova has powered over 20,000 locations of all sizes and verticals with virtually no downtime, even during peak demand, making it the most robust and reliable cannabis POS system available. Today, Cova serves companies in California, Washington, and Colorado, and will be in market in Canada following legalization.

James Fraser — President Fraser Retail Strategies

James Fraser has been a leader in retail and shopper marketing for over 20 years. His impressive resumé and client list boasts Fortune 500 companies, top marketing agencies, packaged goods, and alcohol and spirits. After selling his shopper-marketing firm Hunter Straker to Acosta Mosaic in 2012, Fraser lived and worked in the United States for two years successfully integrating the shopper agency into the U.S. parent company.

Deb Hall — Dive Networks

Deb Hall is an award-winning digital pioneer, founder of Web2Mobile and DIVE Networks.  Her accomplishments have been recognized by globally, including by the Top Women to Watch in Mobile, Canadian Marketing Association (as MC of annual awards), as well as in several innovation hubs in both Canada and across North America and Europe.

Harrison Jordan — Cannabis consultant, commentator and lawyer

Harrison advises individuals, small businesses and Licensed Producer applicants business with respect to Canada’s cannabis laws. He also writes about the cannabis industry, sharing insights about Canada’s cannabis industry through news articles for some of the country’s most prominent cannabis industry outlets, including Leafly, Civilized, and Lift&Co News.

Baron Manett — Per Se Brand Experience (PSBX)

Baron is the founder of Per Se Brand Experience, a marketing experience consultancy focused on helping organizations reach, relate and grow their audiences through planning, content and experience design services. PSBX works with clients in the Consumer, Financial Services and Entertainment industries In North America.

Will Novosedlik — Brand Strategist

Will Novosedlik has nearly three decades of experience in strategy, marketing, branding, content and publishing. He has created, built and innovated brands, products and services in consumer goods, technology, telecom, retail and financial services, as both a client and consultant, in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. He has worked with Idea Couture as well as Taxi Advertising and Design. Will also built and launch the Wind Mobile brand in Canada.

Kelly Olsen — Principal with Co. Retail Consulting

Principal at Co. Retail Consulting, a boutique retail consultancy firm that specializes in the fashion and luxury-goods sectors. In an ever-connected economy, Co. Retail Consulting builds connections between brands, retailers and consumers through targeted merchandising, product and business strategies. Prior to Co., Kelly Olsen spent over a decade at Holt Renfrew in various leadership roles within their Buying & Merchandising group, driving growth and profitability for top global luxury brands.

Paul Rowan — Co-Founder of Umbra

Paul Rowan is a decorated designer whose honours include: the 1998 Best Design Strategy Award from the Design Effectiveness Awards and the Best Collection award from New York’s Accent on Design Show in 1999. His mesh garbage can design being added to the permanent collection of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He has also received a Tiffany Star from the Fashion Group for his contribution to Canada’s fashion and design worlds. In 2010, Paul was inducted into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends as a Visionary. Paul is also an investor in several cannabis ventures both in Canada and abroad.

Jonathan Scott — Consultant, government relations expert

Jonathan Scott works for clients in business, politics and advocacy in Canada, the United Kingdom, China and the United States, with a particular focus on navigating municipal decision making. He has worked as a political and campaign strategist.

Tracie Wagman — CEO of TWRL

Tracie Wagman is a veteran of the fashion and retail technology industry. She served as the President at Pistachio, a Canadian retail concept for sustainable home, garden and beauty products. Later, she served as the Chief Executive Officer at Pin & Tucker, which was merged into her latest venture, TWRL. Tracie is an entrepreneurial executive who has bought, built, sold and exited businesses internationally in both the digital and brick-and-mortar fashion, retail, private label and publishing spaces. She has also served as publisher of Help We've Got Kids, and is the original creator of Hendrick's Gin.

Sara Zborovski — Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

Sara Zborovski practices regulatory and commercial law, assisting companies regulated by Health Canada in obtaining market access and in all areas of compliance. Sara regularly provides strategic counsel to the cannabis industry in matters pertaining to licensing, supply and distribution, advertising and promotion, packaging and labelling.  


For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Ashley Csanady at 647.924.2742 or email